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Obama says women are underpaid, takes executive action

This news story was published on April 8, 2014.
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WASHINGTON – Today, Equal Pay Day was observed, bringing attention to the fact that women continue to be paid less then men.

In Washington, President Obama took action to equalize the playing field and said that women make up nearly half of the workforce, but on average make only 77 cents to the dollar of a man.

The President supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.

The White House said the pay gap is even greater for African-American and Latina women, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latina women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man.

“This is not just an issue of fairness, it’s a family issue and an economic issue,” the President remarked today.

On Tuesday, the President signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation. The order provides a tool to encourage pay transparency, so workers have a potential way of discovering violations of equal pay laws and are able to seek appropriate remedies, the White House said.

In addition, the President signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race. The Department of Labor will use the data to encourage compliance with equal pay laws and to target enforcement more effectively by focusing efforts where there are discrepancies and reducing burdens on other employers.

The first piece of legislation that the President signed into law after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which empowers women to recover wages lost to discrimination by extending the time period in which an employee can file a claim.

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One Response to Obama says women are underpaid, takes executive action

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    LVS Reply Report comment

    April 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    He is just trying to buy more votes for the election using other people’s money again. Women should be insulted that he thinks the government has to mandate it to make things equal for them. Most of them are doing just fine on their own. Also, it is another hollow mandate that pertains only to contract workers and only to new contracts at that. It doesn’t even cover the in equities in the White House that he does have control over. The guy is a farce from beginning to end.